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Minors Can Now Medicate in Connecticut

The state expanded its medical marijuana program to include children with serious conditions.

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 Recently. 7-year-old Henry Lloyd's parents recently began treating him for severe epilepsy with medical marijuana to replace the cocktail of drugs he had previously been on. Henry is the first child in Connecticut to legally take medical marijuana for palliative purposes under the state's new medical marijuana program.

“The thing I can say is he’s at school today,” Linda Lloyd told the CT Mirror Thursday. “We’re super hopeful,” she added. “It’s really our last option, so we’re praying it works. Linda Lloyd is one of the many parents anxiously waiting for the state's governor to sign the new legislation. The Stonington-based boy has suffered from tonic-clonic seizures almost every day. Henry can now attend school after seeing improvement and swapping over 20 daily pills for medical marijuana.

Henry is one of three children in Connecticut that are now approved under the state's program. In order to qualify for Connecticut's medical marijuana program, a patient must have one of six qualifying conditions: cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, severe epilepsy, a terminal illness, or an irreversible spinal cord injury with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity.

A ceremony to celebrate the bill was held Thursday at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford. The event featured a ceremonial bill signing by Governor Dannel P. Malloy. "We don't always get it right on the first go-around but eventually we persevere," Malloy said at the ceremonial signing. "The idea that we would ignore the obvious benefits of cannabis-based medication made no sense. And once we acknowledged that it might make sense for adults, the idea that we would deprive children of access made even less sense."

Connecticut added provisions to include minors this year, after becoming known as the sole state with a comprehensive medical marijuana program that did not allow access for minors. Children like Henry can now legally have access to medical marijuana without his family having to cross state lines as cannabis refugees.